President Barack Obama will issue an executive order barring government contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according news reports issued on Monday, June 16, 2014.
The order would build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It is reported that President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden believe Congress passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”) would be more appropriate than an executive order, but the most recent draft of the ENDA was stalled in the GOP-controlled House, where Speaker John Boehner indicated he did not intend to bring the legislation to a vote. Fortunately, President Obama’s executive order will codify protections for LGBT employees.
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, called the decision “a major step forward” in improving the lives of LGBT people.
For now, millions of Americans and their families enthusiastically await for Obama to sign the order. Stay tuned.